Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cakes and Photography

I met this family at the fair this year. She owns a cake and catering company called Wildberry Cakes and Catering. Check them out at www.wildberrycatering.com. I had her make me a cake in the shape of a die for my Bunco night. It was sooooo cute and very very delicious! I ordered a strawberry cake with cream cheese icing. The strawberry cake was her grandmother's recipe and was the best I have ever tasted! Look her up if you need anything!
I have included a couple of photos from the shoot. What a beautiful family. My daughter helped out on the shoot and she just could not quit talking about how nice they were.
Have I mentioned that I love my job???

Monday, September 29, 2008

Babies Everywhere!

The world is coming up babies! I could not be happier. Nothing is sweeter than that darling little new one. This week I was lucky enough to shoot a newborn and a maternity session in the same day. Celebrations abound!
I need to get my little one to bed but I wanted to put a couple up really quick.
Remember to book your holiday sessions early as I am rapidly filling up the calendar!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thinking about the NILMDTS...

I don't know how many of you know that I am a member of the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep foundation. It is a group of professional photographers who go to the local hospitals and conduct sessions for families dealing with infant bereavement. I think it is the most important work that I do.
Two nights ago I got a call from a photographer in Clarksville, Kandice, who had gotten a call about a baby at Vanderbilt. She wanted to come along and shadow me as she had not done a session before. I agreed and we met at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
Baby A. was still on life support at the time. The hospital staff did not think she would hold on much longer. She was a beautiful baby. She had a head of curly hair and the most perfect tiny features ever. I met with her family. They were wonderful and really supported and held one another up. I took the photos of the baby and we discussed my coming back if Baby A. passed. The family had hope as did I that the baby may pull through. There have been other babies on the NILMDTS forum who were not supposed to make it and then they would post up a notice that the baby was fine and went home. Baby A. seemed alert and strong. She seemed like a little fighter and I hoped that I would never have to see this family again.
Yesterday went by and I never heard anything and I was so hopeful that she was still hanging in there. I got the call last night about 11:20 that they had removed the life support. I told them I was on my way.
I have been on several of these shoots now. But every other shoot I did was with an infant that had already left us. This was so much harder. Now, I knew the baby and the family. I had seen the baby clothes they had bought her, the bonnet and the tiny shoes. I had witnessed how much they loved this little one during her life - now I had to witness them grieving her death.
So much love, so much pain. We did the photos. Now their baby girl was free of all of the wires and tubing that covered her the day before. This precious little lamb dressed in her coming home outfit hugging the angel that her Grandmother had purchased for her. I tried so hard not to cry, to remain detached. At one point they were dressing her and I turned my back and wept. The grandmother noticed and came over and asked if I was okay. Can you imagine? The grandmother comforting me? I assured her I was fine and finished the shoot.
People ask why or how I do this. How can I not? These are the only photos they will have to remember her by. They won't have her first birthday, sports, first day of school - any of these. They have this brief moment in time. This one chance to chronicle her life and tell the world, "She is here. She is here and she is loved and we will never forget her.". That is why I do this. I do this to honor Baby A. and all those others. To give the parents the photos, taken in a brief moment, that will give them a lifetime of the memory. I do this because I have no choice. I have seen their faces. I have heard their hearts.

With the Month of October being recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, The Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation holds its Annual Fund Drive for six weeks starting in mid-September and ending in October.

President Ronald Reagan enacted Proclamation 5890 in October of 1988 to recognize that each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the United States alone end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of a newborn child. Reagan stated, "A national observance offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn or newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members... "

If you are in a place to make even a small contribution to NILMDTS, please know that doing so will continue to allow the organization to provide improved resources, training, communication, and other tools necessary in support of their amazing contingent of professional photographers who provide the gift of free remembrance portraiture to families in need.

By supporting the continued education of our volunteer photographers * By allowing us to further our outreach to hospitals and hospices across the world * By offsetting the costs associated with outreach efforts including Formal NILMDTS Seminars * By supporting the Family Forum which creates a productive and supportive haven for healing * By supporting the Photographers' Forum which provides a helpful environment for our member photographers to express their feelings and receive advice on the various issues that they face in this noble work * By supporting the day to day operations of our Headquarters Offices

If you would like to make a donation, please visit the website at:


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another one about time.....

Every once in a while you will run across a picture that will bring you to your knees. This is one such picture. It's not a very great one. It is just your typical Easter photo - I probably didn't think it was anything special at the time. Just the kids on the swing at Grannys where we held our annual Easter Egg hunt. Now I look at these bright smiling beautiful young faces and wonder where the time went.

Has it really been that long ago? So much has changed. Granny is gone, Chelsey is in college, Alex shaves, Evan is in third grade and the smiles seem so much harder to come by.

Stumbling upon this picture after a particularly agonizing month of homework, attitude and teenage angst brought me to tears.

I hope I cherished this moment seven years ago. I wish I could go back. I wish I could go back just for a minute and kiss those sweet brows and hold those dimpled hands. Oh God, how I miss them, loved them, love them still and always. My sweet little babies - my joy and my life.


~ Christopher Morley

Friday, September 19, 2008

Don't forget....

Hey all!

Don't forget about my Halloween Shoots! I will have two different set ups from which you may choose to do your photos. I will also photograph your pets at this time. Call for times!

Another reminder is that I do panels. I am including a couple of samples here. You may view more on my website: http://www.amyrichphotography.com/.

Fall is fast approaching and this is the perfect time to schedule your family photos. It is also a great time to start thinking about your Christmas Cards.

Don't wait until the last minute! Don't procrastinate! Call me! Call me right now! (unless you are reading this at 3am...then just email me...lol)


Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th

I watched the coverage this morning and remembered seven years ago when the world changed. My friend woke me up and told me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and we were on the phone watching that when the other plane hit. As the events unfolded throughout the day I remember how shocked and grief stricken I was. How could this be happening here? I remember how the skies were so silent because all of the planes were grounded. We live close to two airports so we see planes all of the time. You just kind of take them for granted but now there was nothing, no sounds and no jet trails. Occasionally you would see fighter jets fly by in formation and that would scare you even more and you would rush back into the house to see if something else had happened.

Two weeks after 9-11 we flew to New York. The airports had heavy security and we were apprehensive but determined not to let fear control our lives. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that we took that trip. I remember hearing the term, "hallowed ground" and knowing what it meant but not really thinking about it that much. I totally understood when we went down to the site. You could not get very close. There were fences blocking off the whole area. You could see the wreckage though and occasionally when the wind would blow your way you could smell the smell that I hope is unique only to this place for it was horrible. There were thousands of people standing there. Just looking. No one was talking. Most were crying. Thousands of people breathing in air filled with the dust of the buildings and the dead. Thousands of people and you could have heard a pin drop.

I did not take a single photo of the site. Somehow it just didn't seem right. It seemed invasive and intrusive. Instead I just stood there with my fellow Americans and grieved for our innocence, lost that day amongst so much rubble and so many dead.

We could see the huge trucks rumbling through the streets laden with their cargo of huge beams twisted beyond recognition. We stood and cheered when the firefighters or policemen would walk by. We looked at all of the memorials and read all of the flyers that were placed everywhere begging, hoping, desperate to find their loved ones.

It was the most moving experience of my life.

I am posting a photo of one of the flyers and another of a close up of a statue of a fireman. This statue was supposed to be going somewhere else but was sent to New York instead when they heard what had happened. It had become a makeshift memorial. Many put rosaries in the fireman's hand.

I just wanted to share with you my recollections of that horrible day. Never forget.



PS... The flyer reads:

"My name is Marc and my friend Joey worked on the 105th floor of No. 1 World Trade Center. After September 11, I put his "missing" flyer all over the streets of this changed city, choosing my spots as if I were painting graffiti, looking for the best light, the easiest places to see my friend's face.

At 26th Street and Lex, next to the Armory, strangers were nice to me, saying: "Hope you find your friend." I just thanked them and kept looking for more places where Joey's smile would catch people's eyes. It felt good to be doing something, not just sitting and mourning.

Joey and I met when we were five. His mother watched us every day after school before my parents came home from work. We went to school together for 11 years, and all those years I watched him. He was the coolest guy. I felt like the dorky kid he took under his wing. He showed me a lot of things, how to look cool, how to talk to girls. His father, a Vietnam vet and a retired FDNY fire fighter, helped me learn how to ride a bike. That was the first thing his dad asked me when we hugged each other, "Can you still ride a bike, Marc?"

Joey leaves behind his beloved family, girlfriend, and friends like me, lots of us. He will never know how many lives he touched. I have cried so much that I have become empty inside. My childhood hero has been stolen from me, and I will miss him forever."

Never forget...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hey Guys!

Hey all!

I hope all of you had a great weekend. I went to White Bluff, TN for a family reunion celebrating the re-opening of the Deal Family Sorghum Mill. It was alot of fun. We wandered around the old cemetary where many Deals are buried and we then went over to the mill to see how they make sorghum. The kids all got to try out sugar cane. It was a hit with some and others found it really nasty. They were not all that impressed with the sorghum itself...lol...

While there I found a great railroad track and so of course I made my two little ones get out and walk down it for a photo op. I could not pass that one up! I have included the photo here.

Being at the reunion definitely made me think about family and the importance of keeping up with them all! I had never met many of the people there and it is funny to think we are all related. My cousin, Chris, keeps up with all of our family history. He is the one who can name everyone in the old photos. It is so great to have as many photographs of our family as we do. Remember, long after the TVs are obsolete and the furniture has fallen apart, your photos will remain and be cherished for generations to come! Make sure your story is told!

I am also including a couple of photos from an engagement session that I shot. They were a very cute couple and obviously very much in love.
Be watching for the email coming out this week. It will include a contest!

Have a great week!